08 May 2010

Advice for David Cameron

Let me assume, for the hell of it, that it would be better for the Conservatives to govern than Labour.

Then the appropriate strategy NOW is this.

- Nick Clegg has an offer. He will want to renegotiate. If he wants to substantially change it, say it is take it or leave it. Clegg will prefer you over Brown. You have more of the vote than Tony Blair did in 2005, tell Mr. Clegg that he either respects that, or you'll seek confidence and supply.

- If Clegg says no, and negotiates something with Brown, let it be. You can say you tried to form a government in the national interest, on common ground, but you wont sell out your supporters. Besides, you know that a Brown/Clegg/others government (as Labour + LibDems does not equal a majority) either wont last or will involve enormous tradeoffs with the SNP and/or others, that it will be desperately unpopular. Bide your time.

- If Clegg comes crawling back, seek confidence and supply, from Clegg and others, and form a minority government. Be prepared to hold another election if you can't govern effectively. Bear in mind Labour will have its own internal bloodbath in the meantime.

First and foremost, remember that selling out your party, principles and policies to gain power will eviscerate you. Allowing Gordon Brown to do the same will have a similar effect on him.

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